Scholars and journalists have looked mostly to Mexico's own economy and society for the chief causes of Mexican migration to the United States. This book presents a strikingly contrasting explanation and offers a persuasive historical re-examination of the history of relations between the two countries.
Gilbert Gonzalez dispels the myth that Mexican migration conforms to the pattern of earlier European migrations. Mexican migration, he shows, is the social consequence of U.S. economic domination over Mexico. Since the late nineteenth century, powerful U.S. capitalist enterprises have controlled important sectors of the Mexican economy, a dominance that uprooted peasants and small farmers from traditional farming villages. Those uprooted turned to internal migration and then proceeded into the U.S. to be integrated into the largest capitalist corporations in the world. The mass migration has had a number of implications, from indentured labor to legal and illegal labor. Gonzalez's book examines recent Bush initiatives, NAFTA measures, and the history of antecedent bracero programs supported by the U.S. government and business to show how colonial explanations of migration better fit historical patterns.
Chapter One: Imperialism and Labor-Mexican, Indian, and Algerian Labor Migrations in Comparative Perspective
Chapter Two: Recruiting, Processing, and Transporting Bracero Labor to the United States
Chapter Three: In Defense of Indentured Labor
Chapter Four: Economic Power versus Academic Freedom: The Case of Henry P. Anderson and the University of California
Chapter Five: Indentured Labor-A Convention in U.S.-Mexico Relations
Chapter Six: The Hispanic Challenge? Or the Imperialist Challenge?